THE ASANOR ENDOWMENT FUND OCTOBER 2005 REPORT
"If you advance confidently in the directions of your dreams and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
Henry David Thoreau
Asanoria: “Humphrey, oh, Humphrey. Will it always be like this? The heights we have reached?”
Humphrey: “My sweetest love (‘with such a dumbo name! Asanoria! Geez!’ and this mumbled sotto voce), that can never be again. The laws of finance and physiology insist that there must be a reduction in stature. Enjoy this precious moment while you can, yet have faith in our future."
The figures shown are correct as of Oct.1, 2005.
Conversion rate: One U.S. dollar equals NOK 6.44
HIGHLIGHTS (astoundingly high, once again)
In the thirteen months since the Fund’s last fiscal year report, the Fund’s assets have increased from kr. 714,399 to kr.875,276, an increase of kr. 22.5%, or kr. 160,877. Two years ago, the Fund’s assets were kr. 513,808, so we have achieved an increase of 70 % in 25 months.
In the eight years that the Fund has awarded grants, 64 applications for kr. 91,523 were approved and paid through 2005 (so far). Grants awarded exceed by many thousand kroner the total amount contributed by ASANOR members to the Sigmund Skard Fund.
The Fine Print:These gains reflect the Fund’s decision in February 2004 to value dollar assets at the current exchange rate instead of the traditional 7.8 to a dollar which had been used for several years. Our figures accurately reflect that the current exchange rate from a year ago and today are identical: one dollar equals NOK 6.44.
Your Endowment Fund placed more new investments during the fiscal year than ever before, and fortune has smiled beneficently on our gambles (so far!). $20,000 went to Vanguard’s Inflation-Protected Bond fund, and $10,000 was lodged with Liberty Ermitage’s moderately conservative hedge fund, and both defensive acquisitions have justified our trust.
Of far greater (immediate) importance, your Fund has greatly expanded holdings in Norwegian kroner, specifically through establishing positions in and subsequently adding to assets in Nordea’s Eastern Europe, Avkastning, and Norden funds. Much of your Fund’s gains have come because of this play exploiting the energy sector. Among many diverse delights, the Fund has been present prominently at the oil bar to slurp up our share of the Lukoil cocktail.
Kindly note with satisfaction that our 22.5% increase (after grants) bears little relation to the U.S Dow. This is proven by our Vanguard 500 Index holding, which has nudged up only 5% during the reporting period. The world markets (check the MSCI index) have performed somewhat better, but still lie a dozen points under our gain.
THE TOP LINE
So how were we so lucky? Truthfully (regarding investments), we have no idea (or only a small and immodest one) regarding short-term results, because our sole objective is long-term returns. We didn’t expect so much, and are quite amazed by this year’s exceedingly favorable result.
We do know this, though. The Old Guard has given all it should give and much more. Now it is up to the younger generation to step forth to enrich ASANOR’s future. The Endowment Fund has not had a single contribution from a member below the age of 40 for six years. Old money (or middle-aged money, like the Fund now) must begin with young money, and the Fund has been built with small but faithful contributions which support our common cause.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Read this for the second time: The ASANOR Endowment Fund will reach one million kroner soon. In 2007? We’ll see. Obviously this is nearly a Sisyphean effort, since the greater our assets, the more we award, but did you ever really believe the Fund would have raised over kr. 960,000 (including grants and current assets)?
On behalf of the ASANOR Endowment Fund’s Board,
Robert Baehr Arne Neset Per Winther
Per Winther will retire from his Endowment Fund duties after the five years of his stewardship during which the Fund doubled its assets.Our association’s enduring thanks, Per, and have a goat.
Robert Mikkelsen (already on station) has generously volunteered to stand for election to replace Per from 2005 – 2010, and the Fund is most fortunate to have such a capable and proven replacement.
Arne Neset is nominated for his third term as an Endowment Fund board member.The Fund’s results insistently support his confirmation.
Robert Baehr wants to be in no other place than at the Fund’s celebration of passing one million crowns, and campaigns with vigor and passion to be re-elected for the 2005 – 2010 term. The alternative: He’ll take the money and run Venezuela.